Overall the house is rather inconspicuous. It sits on the corner. It’s weathered exterior doesn’t draw much attention. I find it significant because it is the second yellow house I have lived in- in a row.
The subdivided dwelling holds approximately 19 living beings with an extra two who dwell in the detached garage. Ten humans and nine animals in the main house. Two adults in the garage. Six Adults and four children under the age of seven along with five cats and four dogs in the main house.
Overall the house is pretty quiet during the day. One Retiree, Three worker bees and me- the artist trying to figure things out.
The loudness comes in waves. The neighbor comes home to let the dogs out- the kids come home from school. The neighbor’s live in boyfriend come home loudly on cue as if he is lugging the weight of the world soaked in anger.
There are a few personalities here that disrupt the otherwise still home.
Each one brings the anger soaked world with them. So entrenched in their own chaos they forget that we are sharing walls in this subdivision. They become ignorant that their vehement actions effect the lives around them.
Just a month ago I called the non emergency line several times. Disruption of peace, but also the fear that something sinister may be afoot with the reckless actions and words vibrating the wood fiber of our dwelling.
It is those raised voices that lend a feeling that one isn’t safe- and in my childhood I didn’t know how to react in those situations- other than to shut up and take cover. In my adulthood I have no tolerance for other adults who choose to treat those they claim to love with such vitriol. I also acknowledge that I am not an expert in de-escalation- and sometimes it is vital to seek help.
The retaliation hasn’t been that bad- but the fear it could escalate is evident. I want to think I have done the right thing- because I, myself are not threatening on the surface. Bring in the uniform- face your threat of authority ripping your life away. Sometimes we need it on the road to better things. You realize you do not want to act in a way that would make you a lighthouse in the dark with those who can change your reality.
Anyway- the house is like an instrument that changes cadence when certain people arrive or leave. And the stillness I crave tries to numb itself as these repetitive and scheduled waves activate the creaks of floors and slams of doors.
Even the new baby cries in a way that isn’t threatening- like it learned in the womb that they must not overly upset the tyrant that is their father- but I know somewhere down the road that this little boy will tower over his father- and that battle will eventually end.
I’ve known since I moved in that this house is a wayward spot for the drifting – craving roots and something stable but the house will show you your worst self. And you can either work at it and get toward better and then it will spit you out, or you can reconcile your worst and stay in that zone and it will also spit you out.
It is a perfect place to reformulate what you want from yourself- because settling here isn’t for anyone but the retiree, whose son owns the house and wants a safe place for his father.
I like safety. The anger trolls compromise the feeling of safety not just for me- but for anyone who can hear their tirades. It becomes ironic when these tirades lead to having their own safety feel compromised. At this point the challenge is on the the individual to comprehend why someone may make an effort to level the playing field.
I know I am not wrong in action, but it can feel as such when retaliation comes to play.
Meanwhile the house is going to let us in and let us figure out what we have to learn in the comfort of walls and a roof. The house doesn’t ca re so much- it knows it’s job. The house is a house- it is our lives that give it life and make it a home- and a home can be comfortably uncomfortable.